Understanding Legislative Compliance

Navigating through the legislative compliance requirements for assistive listening can be a challenge, but Listen Technologies is here to help. The information below serves those who want to better understand what they need to know to accommodate people with hearing loss in venues and public spaces.

Please note: This information is not meant to be a substitute for legal advice or legal opinions. You should always obtain legal advice that is specific to you and your situation. Below is general information only, and is NOT be a substitute for legal advice or legal opinions which you should obtain from your own attorney. Among other things, this information may not reflect current legal developments or other issues that may apply to your specific circumstances and situation.

Why Comply

Hearing loss is an invisible disability due to several factors. Some people simply don’t want to admit that they have hearing loss; others don’t know that there are many resources, including legislation that is available to help them. Everyone knows someone with hearing loss and if we are lucky to live long enough, at some point we will all be touched by this disability.

It is important to be informed about the technologies and innovations that are being developed to help those who have hearing loss, so that they can continue to listen to the things they love.

Why Compliance Matters

In the US alone, 54 million people live with disabilities, of those, around 36 million report having a measurable degree of hearing loss. This makes them the single largest disability group, equaling one out of five adult Americans (17%).

Providing access to assistive listening systems is not only the law, but it’s the right thing to do. It helps people feel connected to their communities and live fuller, richer lives.

Although hearing loss is the largest disability covered under the ADA, it is often an unknown and under-served disability group. Everyone knows someone with hearing loss, yet if you ask people what accommodations are made, they often have no idea that assistive listening accommodations are required.

One misunderstood aspect of hearing loss is that while hearing aids are great, they do not work in every situation. Hearing aids work great in a quiet environment, but in places with a lot of ambient noise, an assistive listening system is needed to block out unwanted sound and deliver sound directly to people’s ears. People with hearing loss need more signal than noise- it isn’t helpful if sound is just louder.

More Reasons to Comply

  • Nearly 20% of patrons have a need for assistive listening
  • Patrons will have a much better experience
  • It’s required by law
  • There are tax benefits-
    • Tax benefits – 8826 form: 2. To provide qualified interpreters or other methods of making audio materials available to hearing-impaired individuals;
  • There are penalties-If you do not comply with the assistive listening requirements there could be legal ramifications and penalties. The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a Final Rule that adjusts civil penalties ranging from $55,000 to $150,000.

How to Comply

Assembly Areas

Under the ADA an assembly area is defined as a building or facility, or a portion thereof that is used for the purpose of entertainment, education, civic gatherings, or similar purposes. Specific assembly areas that require assistive listening systems include, but are not limited to: classrooms, public meeting rooms, legislative chambers, motion picture houses, auditoriums, theaters, playhouses, dinner theaters, concert halls, centers for the performing arts, amphitheaters, arenas, stadiums, grandstands, or convention centers.

Required Number of Receivers

This chart details the number of receivers or ALDs required based on seating capacity. If an area has a hearing loop, hearing aid compatible receivers are not required, however they are required with other types of systems as outlined in the chart.

Contact Listen for a customized quote to accommodate your seating capacity at +1.801.233.8992 or 1.800.330.0891.

Seating Capacity Minimum Number of Required ReceiversMinimum Number of Receivers to be hearing aid compatible**
50 or less22
51 to 2002 plus 1 per 25 seats over 50 seats*1 per 4 receivers*
201 to 5002 plus 1 per 25 seats over 50 seats*1 per 4 receivers*
501 to 100020 plus 1 per 33 seats over 500 seats*1 per 4 receivers*
1001 to 200035 plus 1 per 50 seats over 1000 seats*1 per 4 receivers*
2001 and over55 plus 1 per 100 seats over 2000 seats*1 per 4 receivers*

*Or fraction thereof
**Using Listen LA-430 Integrated Neck Loop/Lanyard with LR-x200 iDSP Receivers or LA-166 Neck Loop with LR-x00 or LR-4x Standard Receivers

Hearing Aid Compatible Receivers

A receiver is hearing aid compatible when it works with a telecoil installed in a hearing aid or cochlear implant. Improvements in technology have increased options for hearing aid compatible receivers, including neck loop in lanyard technology, allowing the sound to be transmitted from the lanyard directly to the telecoil or cochlear implant.


An important part of compliance is signage identifying the availability of ALDs. Venues are required to post signs with the international symbol of access to an assistive listening system. Click here for more information.


The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is the entity for enforcement of the ADA. If an individual goes to a venue, asks for an assistive listening system and one is not provided, that individual can file a complaint with the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice then may file a lawsuit. If at that point the owner of the venue is found to be non-compliant, civil penalties are often applied.

US Tax Credit

Businesses may receive a tax benefit for assistive listening systems. Small businesses may be eligible for up to a $5000 tax credit and any business may qualify for up to a $15,000 tax deduction. In certain instances, the tax savings may cover a significant portion of the purchase.

New Legislative Compliance White Paper

Download this white paper for more information about understanding ADA compliance.

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